Graeme Wade

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since Mar 27, 2014
Stredocesky kraj, Czech Republic
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Recent posts by Graeme Wade

naomi rose wrote:I am in Liverpool not doing doing anything except dreaming! Anyone else in Liverpool or near by .....

Im from Liverpool. Not many farms there apart from maybe Stand Farm, a rough pub near where I used to live.

But Ive been in the Czech Republic for eight years now. After owning small cottages here and gardening, we've moved up to a small farmhouse and stable with an acre of land and more to grow into, in a friendly little village about 45 mins drive from Prague. Will grow veggies and try to raise a flock of sheep, maybe some horses in future too.
6 years ago

Florian Kogseder wrote:One of my favourite recipes for deer is goulash. That's a simple Hungarian stew with onions and paprika, traditionally made from beef.

1.3kg onions
1kg meat
2-3 table spoons of ground paprika
~1l water/soup (I normally use the soup I make from the bones of the deer)
2 bay leafs
5 juniper berries
10 peppercorns
1-2 teaspoons marjoram
4cl vinegar
1 teaspoon tomato paste
if available 2-3 table spoons of pulverized mushrooms (I use mostly king boletes, Sarcodon impricatus and black chanterelles)

cut the onions into pieces of about 2 cm, the meat into cubes of 3cm
heat a pot and add some oil or fat. now fry the onions until they get a little brown. Add the salted meat and fry a little longer. Now you have to add the paprika powder and the tomato paste and after about 1 minute deglaze it with the soup or water. The paprika should have turned it's colour from red to brown but it must not burn because it would give an ugly bitter taste.
Now just add all the other ingredients and cook it slowly for 3-5 hours, depending on the quality of the meat.

Im not far from Austria myself, I have a cottage about an hour from Znojmo/Znaim. But I mostly live near Prague.

Came across a deer last year which had been hit by a car but still staggered up the hill into the forest by my house, was out skiing and it was just sitting there wounded looking at me with hauntingly blue eyes. Couldnt get hold of anyone as it was the weekend and didnt know whether to give it the coup de grace or try to nurse it back to health but it expired by the time I brought my sled out. So we called out a family friend who is a hunter we shared it. Lovely stuff.

Here is my recipe, similar to yours but a bit spicier with the chilli and horse radish. I like your idea with the juniper berries though and will throw some in next time:

drop of olive oil or whatever is your poison
2 onions
3 cloves of garlic
about half a kilo of deer meat cut into chunks and a bone if possible
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato passata
1 tablespoon paprika powder
2 red peppers
at least one small chilli pepper
half a litre of water
glass of red wine or some beer
salt and pepper and other herbs to taste, I use a bay leaf and marjoram plus horse radish

Heat the oil in a large pot and brown the meat, then start adding the rest of the stuff gradually, onions, garlic, peppers, chilli, tomatoes, paprika powder, herbs etc. Add the beer or wine and let it soak up, add the water, bone and bring to the boil and then let it simmer gently for at least two hours. Add(or drink) more beer/wine if necessary. Grate some horse radish over and its best served with bread or potato dumplings.

Can also work with boar meat.
6 years ago
The locals here usually use put a 1ltr plastic bottle up, cut some flaps out of the sides to catch the wind and place it on a stick on the ground. It vibrates and is meant to drive the mole away but Ive had no luck with this method and looking at other peoples gardens it seems hit and miss to me. I also tried a solar powered sonic mole repeller which didnt work either.

Not much help either but I wouldnt bother wasting money on those sonic repellers. An old lady told me that the mole dug soil is actually better for the veggies so Im starting to think its better to just live and let live with them.
6 years ago

John Polk wrote:
Vítejte na

Feel free to browse around, and ask questions.


Cheers John.
6 years ago
Im not in Bulgaria but I agree with some of the experiences written above, it seems there are similarities across the former Warsaw pact countries or as John says further afield.

Ive been living outside of the two main cities in the Czech Republic since 2008 in two small cottages in villages before buying an old farmhouse with stable/barn in what I suppose is a farming hamlet, four small farms and a few weekend cottages, about 20 residents.

I grew up in Liverpool and I think in line with many people in this situation dream of moving to the country and having a little farm but its a pipe dream with UK prices - village properties cost more than city ones but here its the other way around. There isnt much demand for village properties as the young gravitate to the cities, some of it is work related but the mentality is that many people think moving to the city has some prestige about it. At the same time during the communist period when not many people could go abroad on holiday, the state compromised by selling families cheap plots of land for weekend cottages.

I was living in one of these weekend cottage villages permanently, but its mostly old people living there now who retire there or still visit their cottages there isnt much young blood. The new village Ive moved to is similar, Ive only seen one young family so far, an old farmer next door and an old weekender on the other side. The older people are a great resource though and its a shame that more younger people arent picking up the wisdom from the older heads, Ive learnt a lot from my old neighbours about woodwork, gardening, astronomy, making(and drinking) spirits, cross country skiing and country living. Im only in my early 30's and work in IT in the city so come across other expats and young Czechs who think Im mad spending my spare time breaking my back in the veggie plot, trying to cut my hands off with a circular saw or chainsaw and constantly burning myself but they understand the benefits when I bring in some surplus produce to share out.

I wonder if we might see a revolution in the future of village living with the work from home system gathering a bit of pace. I spent two years working from home here and loved it, was able get out and do some gardening and other stuff before work, during lunch hour and after work because of cutting out the commute.

6 years ago

Jay C. White Cloud wrote:Hi Gilbert,

Of all the advice given, (and this being a traditional-natural building forum) I would say the main thing you need is good ventilation. There are several ways to do that, but without wall interstitial schematics and other knowledge about the building and your skill sets I can't really go farther. Ventilation is number one.

Chelle's advice is spot on and I have build several like that. If you have a masonry wall and the skill sets to embrace the work required, greenhouse, solarium or vivarium bathrooms are the very best. Some I know of become the favorite place in the house. Plants, moving water and air can really inhibit "bad molds" and promote a more natural system. Anyone that has spent time inside a nice green house knows just how pleasant they are.

Personally I would stay as far away from many of the mainstream commercial building products like wall board, cement board, and the like. I would support the use of NHL5, cob, natural cements, stone, tile, and several forms of AAZPA approved epoxies to make certain things if the design required it.



I agree with the use of NHL(Naturally Hydraulic Lime).

Tadelakt is also something worth looking into, its a Moroccan practice of limework used in their bath-houses.
6 years ago
Have you looked in the Czech Republic? Its not too far.

I tend to work in IT in just English and although my Czech is communicable you dont need it in many jobs. There are a lot of jobs for "shared service centres", centralised language based administration mostly due to the available staff in Prague speaking English and other languages.

Ive been here 8 years and there have always been a lot of foreigners, due to the culture and attraction of living in Prague but recently Ive seen many Greeks and Spanish people are coming here just because there is no work back home, the same as say a Pole would go to the UK. Average wage in this work tends to be around 30000 CZK / 1100 EUR, more maybe with your extra languages. Costs can be cut by flatsharing.

Quick search on a couple of main sites:§ion=positions§ion=positions§ion=positions

If you dont mind rotting in an office from 9-6, 5 days a week...
6 years ago

Just joined up as Ive been lurking on the forum and found that its a great resource.

We have recently bought a small farm in central Czech Rep, about 45 mins from Prague. Large farmhouse built around 1870 and a second part in 1925 built out of stone, brick and lime mortar/render with a large stable/barn and about an acre of land with more available for rent/purchase as we grow into it.

We have a lot of experience with growing veggies and were self sufficient in potatoes, onions, garlic and herbs at one stage where we used to live. Now will be looking at getting to the stage where we are self sufficient in most foods apart from pastas/rices, baking bread in our old bread ovens and making spirits and cider from our apples and plums. Also will be getting some sheep(probably Cameroon breed, a hair sheep) in the future to cut the grass and also for cheese and milk.

So Ill have plenty of questions to ask everyone. I also build a bit with lime and have researched it a lot so can help with advice on this.

All the best,
6 years ago